|19th August 2005||#1|
Join Date: July 2005
''Reality'': A Distortion
Does the title of this post seem puzzling? Isn't calling reality a "distortion" a contradiction in terms?
Before we incur the wrath of Ayn Rand devotees for seeming to claim that A is not A, we should specify that we are not actually asserting that reality itself is a distortion, but rather, the way in which so-called "reality" is currently being used as a marketing ploy.
Current "reality-based" campaigns operate on the premise that beauty must be eliminated from images altogether, in order to make them seem "real."
But advertisements in which beauty is notably absent are just as artificial as are advertisements which pretend that only thinness is beautiful.
Removing all traces of beauty is just as much of a distortion as is removing all traces of the fuller female figure.
One practice is just as exclusionary as the other.
Both approaches achieve the same result, because both banish the timeless feminine ideal from the mass media.
Both approaches create artificial worlds in which plus-size goddesses, seemingly, do not exist.
And the suppression of beauty is as complete a misrepresentation of the world in which we live as is the suppression of curves.
As we noted in a recent post, our world today is teeming with plus-size beauty. In contemporary society, curvaceous girls are gorgeous--and they know it. From makeup, to hair, to clothing, today's curvy vixens are just as adept at the arts of attraction as are their underweight rivals.
But so-called "reality-based" campaigns have this much in common with anorex-chic fashion advertising:
Both imply that the most beautiful full-figured girls cannot be glamorous fashion models.
Both imply that plus-size goddesses do not exist.
And neither approach allows plus-size beauty to be seen.
They are both exclusionary of the very same aesthetic, but from opposite ends.
Thin-supremacist fashion advertising excludes plus-size beauty because it excludes plus sizes.
"Reality-based" fashion advertising excludes plus-size beauty because it excludes beauty.
If Lillian Russell were alive today, her look would be rejected by the "reality" trend for being too beautiful, and by the fashion elites for being too curvaceous.
So much for inclusion.
In their mutually, selectively exclusionary nature, and in their common suppression of plus-size beauty, the "reality" trend and the thin-supremacist fashion establishment have more in common than one might think.
In fact--whether wittingly or not--the one is the de facto ally of the other.
This "reality" trend allows the straight-size establishment to deflect criticism away from itself by saying, "See? We are allowing full-figured women in our magazines" (but only in plain settings, wearing plain attire, and looking as plain as possible). But models with gorgeous facial features, exquisite hairstyles, glamorous makeup, photographed in gorgeous ways, wearing stylish clothing, and shot in exotic settings--that, they will keep for the anorexic girls.
Not until the media overcomes this false duality (either full-figured, or gorgeous, but never both) will the timeless ideal return to cultural prominence.
Kate Dillon modelling for Pia Antonia (Austria):
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